Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has transported in 2009 over 16 million passengers on marine transport modes; which are considered an essential tributary of mass and tourist transport and a fundamental axis of the integrated transport systems in Dubai Emirate.

According to Hussein Al Saffar, Director of Operations and Maintenance Dep’t at RTA Marine Agency, 16,894,461 persons were commuted in Dubai Emirate using various marine transport means, including waterbus, motorized Abra and oaring Abra, last year.

Al Saffar said: “Customers including the public and establishments were satisfied with the marine transport services provided in Dubai. The Agency lifted 532,062 passengers in 128,092 trips on board the waterbus last year. Motorized Abras transported 16,345,303 passengers in 817,265 trips, while oaring Abras ferried 16,689 passengers in 15,104 trips”.

Al Saffar added: “Considering marine transport as a fundamental component of transport systems in Dubai Emirate, the Agency added waterbus service to operate side by side with the motorized and oaring Abras to connect vital areas within the Emirate. RTA constantly seeks to make marine transport services attractive and improving by keeping abreast of the highest quality and safety standards in marine transport services taking into consideration public health and environmental safety”.

Al Saffar went on saying that the Agency drew up a full-fledged plan that would be implemented in phases to achieve integration and harmony among marine transport modes and various other transport means in Dubai Emirate. An objective of this plan is to provide modern marine transport services capable of accommodating all categories of the community and realizing RTA’s vision of providing “Safe and Smooth Transport for All” in all vital areas witnessing commercial, tourist and industrial activities such as the Dubai Creek, seaports, other water channels and residential areas like the coastal islands.

“RTA plan also includes coverage of all areas that were not part of the marine transport system in order to assimilate the rapid economic and social growth witnessed by Dubai Emirate where transport services are being expanded in accordance with studies and surveys carried out by the RTA”, he continued.

“Through a comprehensive plan for projects, Marine Agency managed in 2009 to develop marine public transport services introducing oaring Abra services in various areas of Dubai Emirate in coordination with the concerned entities. The comprehensive plan program is part of the RTA’s drive towards adopting maritime developmental projects that aim to mitigate traffic congestion in Dubai Emirate. RTA is also seeking to maintain the satisfaction of its clientele, including the public and organizations, when providing advanced marine transport services”, said Al Saffar in a concluding remark.